As a hotelier, you’ll be well aware that corporate RFP bids, particularly solicited ones, are a goldmine. Corporate guests are more likely to use other hotel services, such as restaurants, and thus increase incremental spending per room. In fact, business travel spending is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2022.
A solicited RFP bid is when a GDS agency or a corporate business request a pricing proposal from a hotel for their corporate travel programme. As a hotelier, you need to then go through a certain submission process, one that can be quite complex and time-consuming. We’re not going to touch on putting together a pricing proposal here, but you can find out more about it in our recent article ‘The importance of RFPs to increase corporate GDS business.’
As great as these RFPs sound though, it is more common for them to be unsolicited. This means that the request doesn’t come to the hotel directly, but rather that they need to go out there and find corporate bookers. And even if an RFP gets accepted, it does not necessarily guarantee that the company will come to you. Hotel programme properties still need to engage with the employees in charge of online bookings locally to help gain further market share.
Sounds complicated? It doesn’t need to be. Here are our three tips on how to build up the right relationships to get more corporate hotel bookings:
Know your current customers
One of the key tasks that should be on your list, and we can’t stress this enough, is to know your current customers. Do you fully understand their accommodation needs? How closely are you delivering to the RFP programme specifications? Business travellers are often short on time and thus looking for a convenient and efficient hotel with adequate workspaces. What’s more, 80% of business travellers get no more than eight hours of sleep, so they place a premium on being uninterrupted.
Keep a close eye on guest feedback to get an understanding of how well you are catering to their needs, and where you can improve. We also recommend offering special promotions during quieter times as a ‘thank you’ for sending business guests your way. Keeping current customers as happy as possible is the key to getting more corporate hotel bookings from them.
Understand local corporate requirements
Each corporate business will have its own specific requirements, which can be found in the programme criteria. This can include things like close proximity to specific locations (such as trade fairs), availability of conference facilities or a fast WiFi-connection throughout the hotel. Ensure you fully understand their requirements, and certainly do not assume that corporate travel managers know your hotel. It’s always a good idea to invite prospect bookers into the hotel so they can see what you have on offer.
It’s also important to have a good understanding of how they make hotel reservations in the first place. Trends show that mobile bookings are growing fast: they grew by 1700% in just four years. If your site is not yet optimised for mobile, have a look our recent article on how to ensure your hotel website is mobile friendly [add the link once published]. If they book via a travel company or hotel booking agent, engage with them to ensure they fully understand the benefits and cost savings of booking with your hotel.
Maintain positive client relationships
Another way to ensure you are receiving return corporate hotel bookings is to build up positive relationships with key clients. Regularly meet with clients that stay with you on peak nights to ensure you understand their company’s demands for accommodation and meetings. This is important because it will help develop relationships with other key bookers that may not yet know about your excellent service yet.
How to receive more corporate hotel bookings
At HotelREZ, we support our member hotels in boosting their corporate hotel bookings as part of our distribution, representation, marketing and consultancy services. We’re proud to maintain strong relationships with our RFP contacts year on year, which in turn continue to back the RFP programmes of our members. Our automated RFP REZtoMarket tool further helps make the hotel RFP process quicker, while we use TargetworX™ to help manage unsolicited RFPs.
We’re proud to act as an extension of your sales team, helping you increase RevPAR and drive more incremental revenue. Find out how our RFP services can help you provide negotiated rates to corporate clients or get in touch today to discuss how we can help you receive more corporate hotel bookings.
HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts was founded in 2004 by Mark Lewis, an experienced hospitality industry professional and entrepreneur. Over the course of over a decade, the company has grown to be one of the leading hotel representation companies dedicated to marketing and connecting independent properties with bookers worldwide. HotelREZ now provides distribution, revenue, sales consultancy and marketing services and support to more than 1,500 hotels, apartments and hotel groups in over 100 countries including private label GDS chain code solutions. HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts is a SAAS company. HotelREZ also incorporates the global World Rainbow Hotels, the world’s only GDS enabled LGBT global hotel consortia representing some 1200 hotels in 230 destinations across the globe.